Norway's Statoil and British energy company BG Group were among those announcing Wednesday they secured exploration contracts off the coast of Myanmar.
Statoil and its partners at ConocoPhillips said they were awarded a contract to explore frontier territory in the deep waters off the coast of Myanmar in the Bay of Bengal.
Erling Vagnes, Statoil's senior vice president for the region, said he was optimistic about the petroleum potential in an area that he said was "virtually unexplored."
"With this award, we have accessed at scale in another frontier acreage with significant upside, in line with our exploration strategy," he said in a statement.
The Myanmar contract is Statoil's first for the country.
In a separate statement, BG group said it secured the rights to explore two areas off the western coast of Myanmar during the country's latest auction. The company said Wednesday it would conduct a seismic survey to get a better understanding of the reserve potential, a campaign that should be completed by early next year.
Myanmar earned relief from economic sanctions when in 2010 it ended a long period of military rule through general elections. Human rights groups have said it was those sanctions that brought about reforms in the first place.